International journal of molecular sciences

Use of Copper to Selectively Inhibit Brachionus calyciflorus (Predator) Growth in Chlorella kessleri (Prey) Mass Cultures for Algae Biodiesel Production.

PMID 26404247


A single Brachionus rotifer can consume thousands of algae cells per hour causing an algae pond to crash within days of infection. Thus, there is a great need to reduce rotifers in order for algal biofuel production to become reality. Copper can selectively inhibit rotifers in algae ponds, thereby protecting the algae crop. Differential toxicity tests were conducted to compare the copper sensitivity of a model rotifer-B. calyciflorus and an alga, C. kessleri. The rotifer LC50 was <0.1 ppm while the alga was not affected up to 5 ppm Cu(II). The low pH of the rotifer stomach may make it more sensitive to copper. However, when these cultures were combined, a copper concentration of 1.5 ppm was needed to inhibit the rotifer as the alga bound the copper, decreasing its bioavailability. Copper (X ppm) had no effect on downstream fatty acid methyl ester extraction.